HELENA – Thursday marked President Donald Trump’s third visit to Montana since July, which ties him for the most visits by a president of the United States while they were in office.
Democrat Harry S Truman, the 33rd president, has been the only other sitting president to visit Montana three times while in office.
Truman’s first visit was to Butte on June 8, 1948, while campaigning for his second term against Republican Tom Dewey.
Local reports at the time estimated 40,000 people filled the streets to great him during the campaign stop. Two years later at a speech in Butte, Truman stated it was a night he would never forget.
Truman’s second visit on May 12, 1950, was to Great Falls and Havre to address the development of reclamation dams.
While making his way to the Electric City, Truman made a “whistle-stop” in Helena, which coincided with Vigilante Day.
“I certainly am glad to be here on Vigilante Day,” said Truman at the event. “I wish I could have seen that parade. I was glad to get a chance to see those floats alongside the train on each side. I think my family has enjoyed them as much as anything they have seen on the trip.”
Truman’s final visit to the Treasure State was on Oct. 1, 1952, for the dedication of the Hungry Horse Dam.
In the Flathead County High School auditorium, Truman spoke before a crowd of 4,000 people, many of whom were students, that day about the need of dam projects and the importance of the U.S. government being one of the people and by the people.
Story by John Riley, MTN News